So many conference call options and plans exist that it can be a little overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. In many cases, this confusion results in choosing what seems to be the simplest, easiest, and cheapest option: unlimited conferencing plans.
Unlimited plans are certainly advantageous for some companies’ needs; however, they may not be the ideal choice for others. In fact, while we’ve found that unlimited conferencing plans (offering lower and predictable costs) are best for companies with a smaller number of users, they’re often not the best for organizations with a growing or larger number of participants. Click to view the economics of unlimited plans analysis chart.
Why not? Well, the economics and advantages of unlimited conferencing plans are tied directly to headcount. As you can see from the unlimited plans chart, as users increase (above 10), the economics turn upside down. Because of the 80/20 rule, there are only a few power users. As the total number of users goes up, the number of calls and the length of the calls actually goes down. Even though the price per account may be discounted, the equivalent price per minute significantly exceeds that of metered plans.
While the price per minute for smaller companies using the service is only $0.046, it’s $0.097 for the largest company using the service. (That’s the monthly cost times the number of users for the month, plus the long distance charges, divided by the total minutes the service is likely to be used.) Five extra cents per minute of the conference can add up quickly!
So the cost effectiveness of unlimited plans falls while the number of users goes up. There’s still something to be said for unlimited plans being the simplest option, and maybe that’s worth the extra cost to larger companies. Conference plan decisions aren’t just be about the economics, after all.
But even when you take the economics out of it, we still think larger companies should consider other plans. That’s because there are advantages to metered plans that most unlimited plans simply don’t offer. Metered plans offer:
- Personalized branding
- More professionalism with toll-free service
- Higher capacity
- Higher quality audio
- Elimination of the need to coordinate sharing the account
- Higher productivity because of optimization for the users
- More reliable with routing/recovery benefits of toll-free numbers
- Accommodation for company growth
- No cost for each account
Unlimited conferencing plans offer many benefits, particularly for smaller companies, and we’re proud to offer them to the users who benefit from them. But once growth takes you over 10 users, you might be better off using a metered plan. We encourage you to take the time to truly investigate what plan is best for you and your users. You can download our free ebook on the hidden costs of generic conferencing as a good starting point.